The Duquesne Men’s Basketball Team led by as many as 26 points, besting Rider by a 77-58 count Friday night at the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse.
Dae Dae Grant led the way for Duquesne (4-1) with 23 points as the senior buried six three-point shots, one triple away from matching a career high. Jimmy Clark III scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half, while adding five rebounds. Fousseyni Drame brought down 10 rebounds. The Dukes recorded a season high 14 blocks as a team.
Rider (1-3) was paced by Mervin James’s double-double consisting of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Corey McKeithan contributed 13 points.
After opening 2-for-8 from the field, Duquesne’s defense, most notably Chabi Barre and David Dixon made their respective presences felt.
Dixon started by altering a shot in the paint, but 10 minutes in, both had three blocks and were large reasons as to why Duquesne set a season high in blocks, recording nine swats in the first half.
Those makes helps spur Duquesne’s offense on, as it went on a 22-5 run, making 7-of-11 from the field during that stretch as Rider burned two timeouts.
During the run, the Dukes built on its own play, with Grant recording 15 points, Kareem Rozier firing the fans up with a made three-point shot and Jakub Necas making plenty of plays to keep things moving in a positive direction.
Though Duquesne had a 9-4 fouling disadvantage, Rider shot 4-of-10 from the free-throw line.
The Dukes were able to play 10, taking a 37-22 lead into the half.
Duquesne opened the second half 7-for-12 and utilized a 10-0 run as the Dukes assisted on six of seven early baskets.
It was an opportunistic Dukes side which played through contact in the post and continued to impose their will on the block.
Duquesne had some stumbling blocks as it had multiple offensive lulls midway through the second half, but Clark’s play proved pivotal in keeping the double-digit advantage secure.
Duquesne will next play Wednesday at Nebraska concluding a trio of Cornhusker Classic games.